tv C-SPAN Weekend CSPAN April 16, 2011 6:00am-7:00am EDT
mr. hensarling: mr. chairman, the congressional budget office has announced that social security will go broke in 2037, and my democratic colleagues have announced this is not a problem, we're ready to implement the 22% benefit cut that's already in our statute. survey after survey show that our fellow citizens believe that their children, their children will be worse off than they are, and yet my democrat colleagues announce their plan to add $9.1 trillion to the national debt. mr. chairman, it's time to quit spending money we don't have. it's time to quit borrowing 42 cents on the dollar, much of it from the chinese, and then send the bill to our children and grandchildren. the republican budget will help us create jobs with fundamental tax reform in preventing these tax increases. it will save our social safety net programs, programs that have been of a great comfort to my parents and grandparents
before our eyes are morphing into ponzi schemes for their third grade daughter and first grade son. mr. chairman, the republican budget will put us on the path to pay off the national debt. mr. chairman, i heard from one of my constituents recently. he said i have never been ashamed of anything i have done in my life except leaving this in the hands of my kids. i written them a heart felt apology when they get old enough to understand what the government did to them. mr. chairman, i have a message for mr. calhoun. put that letter away. house republicans are going to stand for tyler and caitlin. we are going to put america back to work. we're going to save the social safety net and preserve the american dream for ourselves and our prosperity. i yield back the balance of my
time. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from maryland. mr. van hollen: thank you, mr. chairman. it's hard to see how someone would define saving the social safety net by ending the medicare guarantee for seniors, by slashing medicaid by over $750 billion, a program that disproportionately helps seniors in nursing homes and disabled individuals. it's really hard to understand that is preserving the social safety net. it reminds me of that strange statement we once heard that you have to destroy the village in order to save it. now, let's understand what happens under this budget to medicare. this budget ends the medicare guarantee for seniors. it doesn't reform medicare. it deforms and dismantles it because it forces seniors off
of the medicare program into the private insurance market. and it does nothing as it dumps the seniors into the private insurance market to control the rate of increase in health care costs. and instead it transfers to the seniors all those risks and all those costs. seniors will pay a lot more while the insurance companies will get all their medicare payroll taxes, they'll get a bonanza out of this thing but seniors will be left holding the bag. if your voucher amount -- call it whatever you want -- is not sufficient to pay for the increased cost, you eat it. and we saw earlier the fact that by the year 2022 seniors will have to pay more than $6,000 above what they would have had to pay under the regular medicare program. if your doctor's not on a private plan that you could avoid, tough luck. this is rationing health care
by income, nothing more, and i want to say something just to clear the record one more time. we keep hearing that they're offering seniors exactly what members of congress get. it simply is not true. what members of congress get is what's called a fair share deal. i encourage my colleagues on all sides of the aisle just to look at the federal employees benefit plan and you look in the office of personnel that says this formula is known as the fair share formula because it will maintain a consistent level of government contributions as a percentage of program costs regardless of what plan the enrollees elect. and it says that the government contribution equals the lesser of 72% of the amounts o.p.m. determines programwide or 75%.
the fact is that members of congress get a fair share formula. the republican budget does not give a fair share formula to seniors on medicare. it just doesn't. in fact, the way it saves money is to give them an unfair deal. it unconnects the support we give to seniors from rising health care costs. that's why seniors will end up paying so much more and more and more because you make the savings. health care costs are going up like this and the support, if you want to call it support, it is really not, coming from the medicare program from the federal government, is going like this. that's why the seniors are having to eat those additional costs. that's what the republican budget does at the same time they do provide additional tax breaks for the very folks -- the folks at the very top. and if you want to get rid of
some of the junk in the tax code you can support the democratic plan because we got rid of subsidies for the oil companies, we got rid of those perverse tax incentives to reward corporations that are shipping american jobs instead of american products overseas. if you want to start with tax reform, vote for the democratic plan. those are the choices we made, not ending the medicare guarantee. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from wisconsin. mr. ryan: mr. chairman, at this time i'd like to yield one minute to the distinguished majority leader, mr. cantor. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. cantor: i thank the chairman, and i want to thank the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. ryan, for his outstanding leadership and all the hard work he's shown in leading this effort to put together a budget for this house. i also want to commend the hard work of his members and the committee for bringing this forward.
mr. chairman, the federal government is broke. we borrow nearly 40 cents of every dollar we spend. our debt is more than $14 trillion, and it's averaging yearly to trillion-dollar deficits. we simple -- simply cannot afford spending the money we don't have and we must simply bring down the debt. now, for years this house, including legislators on both sides of the aisle, has kicked the can down the road. americans were led to believe that we could spend hundreds of billions of dollars that we don't have and that there would be no consequences. and when it came to fostering an environment where american business could compete in the global economy, we became complacent. this must stop. it's time to be honest with the
american people. mr. chairman, we stand at a crossroads. before us lies two different paths. one defined by crushing debt, slow growth and diminished opportunity, and one defined by achievement, innovation and american leadership. mr. chairman, the house is not in order. the chair: the gentleman is correct. the committee is not in order. conversations will be suspended. the gentleman may proceed. mr. cantor: thank you, mr. chairman. by demonstrating courage and directly confronting our challenge at this critical moment, we can fulfill the promise of america and pass on to our children a nation that offers everyone a fair shot at earning their success. the house republican budget is an honest, fact-based proposal that details our vision for
managing down our debt and growing our way back to prosperity. first, we will stop spending money that we don't have. this budget cuts nonsecurity discretionary spending to below 2008 levels and freezes it for five minutes. overall, we reach $6.2 trillion in savings against the president's budget. second, we'll lead where the president has failed by finally addressing our insolvent entitlement programs. we know that these programs are the biggest drivers of our debt and the congressional budget office acknowledges that if we don't take action these important safety net programs will go broke. we cannot afford to ignore these -- this oncoming fiscal train wreck any longer. while it may be seen by some as politically risky, we republicans are willing to lead
because, to be frank, complacency is not an option. to be clear, our plan will not touch benefits for today's seniors and those nearing retirement. for those of us 54 and below it calls for reforms that will restructure medicare and medicaid to ensure that these safety nets will still be there for those who need it, not for those who don't. unlike the lofty outline the president gave in his speech this week, our budget is not a political document. we do not dream up imaginary savings and dodge specifics. in an effort to lull people into the belief that they can actually get things for nothing. our budget is a concrete plan for getting our fiscal house in order, and we do not resort to
tax increases on the very small businesses and job creators we need to put america back to work. bringing down the debt sends a message to american families. it sends a message to business men and women, to entrepreneurs and to investors. it gives them the confidence that they won't face a future plagued by inflation, higher taxes and higher interest rates. we understand that cutting spending alone is not enough. that's why our budget calls for pro-growth policies to get our economy growing and to get people back to work. families and small business people are struggling, and today, tax day, millions of them will send their hard-earned money to uncle sam. the last thing we should be asking them to do is to send yet again more.
instead, our budget calls for a more competitive tax system that will encourage the economy to grow, create jobs and spur investment in the private sector. we call for the end of crony capitalism that allows privileged industries gain competitive advantage in our tax code, and we call for a more simple system that lowers rates for all but make sure that everyone pays their fair share. mr. chairman, with this budget house republicans are changing the culture in washington from one of spending to one of savings. finally, mr. chairman, america will see that it can get its fiscal house in order after years of mismanagement. we are finally doing what families and small business people have been doing for years, tightening the belts and learning how to do more with
less. again, mr. chairman, i thank chairman ryan and his committee for their outstanding leadership, and i urge my colleagues to support this resolution. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from maryland. mr. van hollen: i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves his time. the gentleman from wisconsin. mr. ryan: may i inquire of the gentleman from maryland, he has just minimum self? mr. van hollen: we have another speaker. mr. ryan: ok. at this time, mr. chairman, i'd like to -- mr. van hollen: we have another speaker -- one more in addition to myself. mr. ryan: why don't you take one then? mr. van hollen: how many -- mr. ryan: we have the right to close. and we have just two more speakers on our side. how many do you have? mr. van hollen: we have two more. mr. ryan: all right. you'll do two together then. ok. at this time, mr. chairman ucks i'd like to yield one minute to the speaker of the house, mr.
boehner. the chair: the speaker is recognized. the speaker: i'm glad we got that resolved. the american people understand that we can't continue to spend money that we don't have. our national debt has now surpassed $14.2 trillion. it's on a track to eclipse the entire size of our economy. and this massive debt that we're incurring hurts private sector job creation, eroding confidence, spreading uncertainty amongst employers big and small, discouraging private investment in our economy that is sorely needed in order for us to create jobs. this debt is also a moral threat to our country. in my opinion it is immoral to rob our children and grandchildren's future and leave them beholden to countries around the world who buy our debt.
we have a moral obligation to speak the truth and to do something about it. yesterday we took the first step in beginning to address this massive debt by passing legislation that would reduce our deficit by $315 billion over the next 10 years. it was an imperfect bill, but it was a positive step that has cleared the decks and allowed to us focus on cutting trillions of dollars, not just billions. and chairman ryan and the members of the budget committee have done an excellent job of putting together a budget that's worthy of the american people. this budget will help job creation today, lift the crushing burden of debt that threatens our children's future and preserve and protect programs like medicare and medicaid. and most importantly the budget shows families and small businesses that were serious about dealing with america's spending illness so we can put our country on a path to
prosperity. the ryan budget sets the bar for the debate going forward. president obama had an opportunity to match it. unfortunately he gave a partisan speech about the need for more spending, more taxing and more borrowing. he said he must -- he wants to target our debt problem through a so-called debt failsafe. but exempts the major entitlement programs that account for most of the long-term debt problems. and he proposed yet another commission, though he ignored the recommendations of this last one. instead of offering serious solutions, the president asked congress to raise the debt limit without addressing washington's spending problem. the president wants a clean bill. and the american people will not tolerate it. now, let me be clear. there will be no debt limit increase unless it's accompanied
by serious spending cuts and real budget reform. we delivered this message on wednesday morning to the president and we cannot continue to borrow recklessly and dig ourselves a deeper hole and mortgage the future of our children and grandchildren. the american people are looking for leadership to address this debt crisis. and unfortunately the president has failed to put a serious proposal on the table. and if the president won't lead, we will. no more kicking the can down the road, no more whistling past the graveyard. now is the time to address the serious challenges that face the american people. and we will. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from maryland. mr. van hollen: thank you, mr.
chairman. i would point out that even if we adopt the republican budget, we're going to have to lift the debt ceiling for years and years to come. so let's not play russian roulette with the economy and the full faith and credit of the united states government. on the question of jobs, the question of jobs, during the clinton administration we asked the very wealthiest for a little bit more sacrifice than they have today and you know what happened to jobs? 20 million jobs were created during the administration, clinton administration. under the current tax rates, after eight years of george bush, private sector lost 630,000 jobs. mr. chairman, can i inquire how much time i have remaining? the chair: the gentleman has 1 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. van hollen: i yield myself 30 seconds. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for 30 seconds. mr. van hollen: so you see the pattern here, during the clinton administration economic growth booming, 20 million jobs
created, during the eight years of the bush administration net loss 653,000 jobs. we need to continue to invest in this country and make sure that the entrepreneurs of this country can continue to thrive. we need to do this in a balanced way and i would point out that the folks who said that the republican plan this republican plan debate would increase jobs are the same people who predicted that the bush tax cuts would create jobs. that's the blue line is the prediction of the heritage foundation about what that would happen. the red is the reality. if we want to create jobs and reduce the deficit, we need to do it in a balanced way. that's what the fiscal commission said, that's what the democratic plan does. we urge everyone respectfully to vote no on the republican plan. it's the wrong choice for america. and with that i yield a minute to the distinguished democratic leader, ms. pelosi.
the chair: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. pelosi: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for yielding. i thank him for bringing a budget proposal to the floor today that is a statement of our national values, about what we care about, investing in our children, honoring our seniors, growing, creating jobs, growing the economy, strengthening the middle class. thank you, mr. van hollen, for your great leadership in that regard. mr. speaker, today we are taking a vote that is very, very important for the health and security of american seniors. a great deal is at stake. and i'm just going to focus on one part of this republican budget. i want to say to my republican colleagues, do you realize that your leadership is asking to you cast a vote today to abolish medicare as we know it? because that is a vote that we have. this is not about an issue, this
is about a value, this is about an ethic. medicare is a core value of our social compact with the american people. yet this budget shreds that contract which is part of the strength of our country. the republican proposal breaks the promise that our country has made to our seniors. that after a lifetime of work they will be able to depend on medicare to protect them in retirement. this plan, the republican plan, ends medicare as we know it and dramatically reduces benefits for seniors. it forces them to pay more -- to buy their insurance companies from health insurance companies where the average senior will be forced to pay twice as much for half the benefits. i want to repeat that. it forces -- the republican plan forces seniors to buy their insurance from health insurance companies where the average senior will be forced to pay
twice as much for half the benefits. as much as $20,000 per year more for some seniors. this plan has the wrong priorities for our seniors and for all americans. the republican budget, just remember these three things, ends medicare as we know it, gives big tax breaks and subsidies, tens of billions of dollars to big oil. this budget reduces medicaid for our seniors in nursing homes, sending them away from nursing homes while it gives tax breaks to companies that send jobs overseas. this budget hurts our children's education. in fact, it increases the cost of higher education for nearly 10 million of our young adults while it gives tax breaks to america's wealthiest families. that's just not fair. it is just not the american way. here we are, yesterday we observed the 100th day of the
republican majority in congress. in that 100 days not one job has been created, not one job agenda is in the works. and what are we doing? we are here to abolish medicare instead. i've heard our colleagues say that the budget deficit is immoral. it's been immoral for the eight years of the bush administration and didn't hear anybody say boo while we were giving tax cuts to the rich, having two wars unpaid for and giving tax -- prescription drug bills to the private sector. democrats are committed to reducing the deficit, we have demonstrated that we can during the clinton administration and we will. we are committed to strength being -- strengthening the middle class, to growing our economy as we reduce the deficit and to creating jobs. the republican budget fails to
do that and the republican budget will not have democratic support. we are here as one of the previous speakers said, now is the time, now is the time to preserve medicare and democrats will. i urge a no vote on the republican plan. thank you. the chair: the gentlewoman's time has expired. -- the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from wisconsin. mr. ryan: mr. chairman, at this time i'd like to yield myself the remainder of the time and address the house from the well. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. ryan: first of all, mr. chairman, i want to thank our staffs. the democratic staff and the republican staff for all of their hard work in getting us to this moment. i want to ask my colleagues a question. i want to ask the american people a question. you know, i remember one of the worst moments i had in congress was the financial crisis of 2008.
seems like it was yesterday. we had the treasury secretary, we had the federal reserve chairman coming here talking about crisis. talking about bank collapses. and what came out of that was really ugly legislation that we passed in a bipartisan basis but no one enjoyed. that crisis caught us by surprise. it was unpredictable. we didn't see it coming. let me ask you this. what if your president and your member of congress saw it coming? what if they knew why it was happening, when it was going to happen and, more importantly, they knew what to do to stop it and they had time to stop it but they didn't because of politics? what would you think of that person? mr. chairman, that is where we are right now. this is the most predictable economic crisis we've ever had in the history of this country. and yet we have a president who is unwilling to lead, we have
too many politicians weared about the next election and -- worried about the next election and not worried about the next generation. every politician in this town, every politician in this town knows we have a debt crisis. they know that we are in danger. we cannot avoid this choice to govern -- choice. to govern is to choose. we are making a choice even if we don't act and that's the wrong choice. in the words of abraham lincoln, we cannot escape history, we of this congress and this administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves . will we be remembered as the congress that did nothing as the nation sped toward a presprentble debt crisis and irreversible decline? or will it instead be remembered as a congress that did the hard work of preventing that crisis? the one that chose this path to
prosperity. this path to prosperity charts a different course. it gets us off this wrong track. it achieves four objectives. number one, grow the economy and get people back to work. number two, fulfill the mission of health and retirement -- fulfill the mission of health and retirement security. we don't want to ration medicare, we don't want to see medicare go bankrupt, we want to save medicare. number three, repair the social safety net. get it ready for the 21st century. we don't want a welfare system that encourages people to stay on welfare, we want them to get back on their feet and into flourishing, self-sufficient lives. so let's reform welfare for people who need it and let's end it for corporate welfare for people who don't need it. number four, let's do the work
of lifting this crushing burden of debt from our children. this is what we achieve. we have a choice of two futures. but we have to make the right choice. we must not leave this nation -- lead this nation into decline. we must not be the first generation in this country to leave the next generation worse off. decline is antithetical to the american idea. america is a nation conceived in liberty, dedicated to equality and defined by limitless opportunity. equal opportunity, upward mobility, prosperity, this is what america is all about. in all chapters of human history, there has never been anything quite like america. this budget keeps america
we just came from a vote in the house on the republican budget. we think the republican budget is the wrong choice for america. the question is not whether or not we should work together to reduce our deficits and debt. the question is how we do that. number one we think it is going to hurt the fragile economic economy and put people out of work for struggling families throughout the country. number two, we think it makes the wrong choice as to how we reduce the deficit because they choose to provide another round of big tax breaks for the weltiest americans from millionaires and others. they choose to keep in place big taxpayer subsidies for the oil companies which i know everyone knows what the price
at the pump is. it is going up and up and up and profits are going up and up and yet we continue to provide those companies with these big taxpayer subsidies. we shouldn't be doing that at the same time that they are slashing investments in our kids' education, ending the medicare guarantee, meaning saying to seniors you no longer get to stay in the medicare program. you are forced into the private insurance market. forced into the market. and you are forced to eat the rising costs of health care. so there is no more medicare guarantee. all of a sudden payroll taxes for medicare when that kicks in will go now to the insurance industry. and if you are voucher your support whatever they want to call it if it is not sufficient to keep up with the costs you are out of luck. and it is designed not to keep up with the cost of health care. that is how they save money
even as they give tax breaks to millionaires. and when it comes to other important efforts like medicaid, which nursing home seniors, seniors in nursing homes rely on which individuals with disabilities rely on and which poor kids rely on for the health care, they slash that by over $775 billion instead of saying to the folks at the very top let's go back to the same tax rate that we had during the clinton administration, a time when the economy was roaring and 20 million jobs were created. but no, instead of doing that they ask working people to bear the burden and ask no shared sacrifice of those who have done so well. and so we think this is the wrong direction, the wrong approach for america. we will continue to fight this republican plan. and we are confident that with the help of the american people we will ultimately defeat it.
with that, i want to turn this over to alison schwartz, a terrific member of congress from the state of pennsylvania. thank you for all your efforts on behalf of the american people. i want to share my agreement with chris, i believe with most americans, which is that the republican budget that was just voted on a few minutes ago is wrong for this country, wrong for our seniors, wrong for our children and wrong for economic growth. we instead offered an alternative that took seriously the national debt and the deficit, brings down the deficit, does it in a very different way that the republicans. what we do is to have a balanced approach, we are going to bring down the national deficit because we are simply spending too much and borrowing too much. but we are going to do it in a way that meets our obligations to the american people. seniors, it will end medicare as we know it.
i spoke yesterday to a group of seniors and future seniors. one woman who said she was 54 years old and had a disabled son who is on medicaid. she said i'm worried for myself when i reach 65, i was counting on medicare. and of course i'm deeply concerned about who is going to take care of my disabled child who has real needs. and all i could say to her is that the hope that the republican budget doesn't make it into law. that's not good enough for the american people. so we end medicare as we know it. we won't let that happen. the presidency won't let it happen on his watch. but every day across america we have seniors and we have families who are concerned about their children and education. we have businesses large and small that want us to make the investments in innovation and infrastructure so we can be commemically sexettive for the future of this country and for economic growth we have to turn
aside this republican budget take a more balanced reasonable, responsible approach. and that's what we are trying to do. i'm going to turn it over to another senior member of the budget committee. john yarmuth. >> thanks, alison. i think the biggest insult to the american people with the republican budget is that it is based on total mythology. they base an enormous amount of growth on almost a faith-based initiative. our faith-based idea. that is if you cut taxes for the very weltiest americans that you are going to have unlimited growth in the economy. the only body they could get to vouch for that was the heritage foundation. no other bon fide economists will tell you that you cut taxes again on the weltiest americans you are going to have unprecedented growth. this is kind of a harry potter budget. they are projecting unemployment at unprecedented
historical levels. it doesn't exist. they basically just waved their magic wand and said these are the numbers that are going to restore the economy of the united states. it is not reality-based. i come from a family of entrepreneurs. my father built a big company, both my brothers have built big companies. identify built a big company. and any of us would have told you that raising taxes, a small amount on entrepreneurs, makes no difference in how they act. what makes a difference is that they see an opportunity to make money. and as my brother who is in the barbecue restaurant business said, if nobody can afford barbecue, it doesn't matter what my tax rate is. that's where we are as a country. we have spent so much time making sure that the top 1% have done well that we have totally forgotten the 90% who now have less wealth than that top 1% has. we need to develop a fiscal
policy that makes sure that we encourage growth in that 90%, not further enrichment of the top 1%. that's what the democratic alternative did. and that's why i believe that we must defeat this republican budget because again it is a hoax on the american people. with that i would like to introduce betty mccolumn from minnesota. >> i'm going to yield. we're all about mass transit. i want you on that train. >> thank you. let me thank our representative chris van holland and my democratic colleagues. we were the counter voice to this attack on middle class america and i am really proud of the effort we made to inform the general public. make no mistake about it. this republican budget stops medicare. it puts an end to medicare. it encourages to corporations to export jobs rather than products from the united states. it allows for the continuation
of tax responsibility that goes weaker and weaker on our millionaires and billionaires and allows again for oil company handouts to be the theme of the day. these are the wrong choices for america. as it has been said so many times over, this is a road to ruin and we even swerved to the fast track to get an end to medicare as quickly as they could. this sneak attack won't work. i am proud of the democrats and the voice that they lent on behalf of middle class america during these many days of discussion. we have an alternative plan that will grow jobs. this plan will reduce jobs by millions. i am proud of the efforts the democrats are making. let's not allow them to end medicare and go forward with this republican plan for a 2012 budget. thank you, everybody. >> let me just say that first of all i'm proud to stand with my democratic colleagues and
with the ranking member chris van holland who did a wonderful job arguing the democratic case and saying that today was a sad day in our country, frankly. today the republicans made a statement that they were willing to break the social contract in our country. it is completely unacceptable to say that just because this does not impact you if you are 55 years and older to take the generation and throw them under the bus for everybody that is under 55, this is just unacceptable. if you take medicaid and put medicaid in the form of a block grant, we have states that are in crisis all across our country. if they had to deal with a block grant in the time of a recession when unemployment is the highest, that's when medicaid needs to be most flexible. it is unacceptable that my republican colleagues have made a statement to the american people today that today ends the social contract. i just want to say that i want to thank god for the senate
because i know that this will be dead on arrival in the senate as it should be, because i know to the american people this plan would be dead on arrival. thank you very much. >> hi. i'm debbie from minnesota and i'm standing here today because of the shared sacrifice in the town that i grew up. my hometown saw st. paul. carried a lunch bucket down to the meat packing plants. dangerous jobs, worked on the railroads to make sure that i had a good education, to make sure that i had a safe school to attend, to make sure that we had roads, that we had the basics in life that helped communities be strong and vibrant. so budgets that the republicans just passed today takes away that underpinning of community, of shared sacrifice, of responsibility to one another in order to have strong communities. right here in washington, d.c.
our founding fathers and mothers share a sacrifice to make sure that we had in this country an opportunity for everyone to be successful. and in order for people to be successful they have to have an opportunity to get a good quality education, they have to have an opportunity to have their basic health care needs met, shelter, and transportation. all that. all that shared sacrifice is gone in the republican budget. they made a decision that it is more important to suspend resources, to borrow money, to pay interest to give more tax breaks to 1% of america. so i am very pleased to stand here with my colleagues in support of the democratic proposal. and let me conclude with this. i'm going to get on a plane in a couple of hours and i am going back home and i am going to see my brother and sister. i am 56. i am going to look at my brother and sister, i am going
to say i don't have to worry. my children don't have to worry about my health care into the future. sorry, brother. sorry, sister. sorry niece and nephew. you don't know what the future holds for you and your parents and their health care in their retirement years. so this was wrong, wrong, wrong. and i am glad to be on the right side of history and standing up for middle class families. >> well, good afternoon. i'm congresswoman kathy castor. i represent the great state of florida. this beautiful spring day in the nation's capital belies the fact that we have dark days ahead under the republican budget. it is very distressing for the hard-working families that i represent in florida and all across this great country that the republican plan destroys
medicare. and i think it is an untruth, a falsehood to say that if you are 55 and older you are not going to be affected. because what the republican plan, the cynical plan does is it causes medicare to wither on the vine now. if you are a medicare provider and you know that medicare is coming to an end, you don't have any great incentive to stay within the medicare initiative. when you combine it with the very significant ratcheting back of nursing home care that would happen immediately under the republican budget, seniors today need to be concerned. all american families need to be concerned that the republican plan is ending medicare. medicare is that promise that was made to hard-working individuals all across this country that if they were hard all of their lives they would live their retirement years in dignity and in security.
the republicans say enough of that. and tossed that by the wayside in a very cynical attempt to save the tax breaks for the top 2% in this country. those tax breaks swallow medicare, and that is what the choice that was on the table for this ryan budget. it provides a very distinct, two very distinct visions of america. one that is optimistic and hopeful and retains that promise, that social compact that has been vital in keeping older americans and their families out of poverty for decades. on the other hand the republican vision for america is pessimistic. it is cynical. it says to older americans you can work hard all of your life but your neighbors will not be there for you in your older years. and as president obama said the other day but for the grace of god go i. who can say that later in life you will not have a heart attack, you will not come down
with a chronic condition, you will not -- your body will not wear out? we are going to fight to save medicare. the battle lines have been drawn. the vote has been taken. and everyone has gone on record. but i can tell you that i am very proud that umemussly my democratic colleagues say we are not going to give up on older americans. we are going to keep that promise that is medicare and thank you chris van holland and all of my colleagues for your leadership today. >> thank you, kathy. and my colleagues. and we heard from some of the republican members on the floor that medicare was socialism. well, if you go back to the fight over medicare back in 1965, that's what the republicans argued in order to try and stop medicare from ever being created. now, apparently, they're using that term as part of ending the medicare guarantee. we would be happy to try to answer any questions you have got.
>> what was the strategy behind voting present on the rsc budget? wouldn't you also oppose that as well? who sort of came up with that plan? >> that was a discussion that took place within the democratic caucus caucus and it was an effort to show just how far out the republicans are, the majority of the republicans in their caucus. let me just say you have seen two budgets today from the republican side both of which would be a radical change in the direction of this country as my colleague indicated earlier would shatter the social contract in america. any other questions? >> if you could put your political hat back on. how bad a vote do you think the republicans took today? >> well, we encouraged some of our republican colleagues to read the bill because it was pretty clear from some of their
comments that they had not read the bill. and let me answer your question by way of making this point. one of their talking points originally was that what they are giving to seniors is the same health care deal that members of congress have that they goy themselves. just not true. not true. what members of congress have and federal employees have is what's called a fair share arrangement. what that means is as the cost of health care and premiums go up, so does the employer's share. the government. so members of congress protect themselves against the costs of rising health care. and yet, they are asking seniors to take a raw deal, a deal that doesn't protect seniors from the costs of rising health care. in fact, that is exactly how they make their savings in this bill. and so i only say that because
i would have to ask the american people whether it is a good thing that a member of congress says to seniors we're going to give you a lousy deal but keep a good deal for ourselves. >> [inaudible] political. wouldn't you say? >> i'm going to leave it to the american people to judge the facts. but as all of us have said, this is a wrong turn for america and really does violate the social contract in so many different ways. ending the medicare guarantee being exhibit a. >> is this a major boost for your campaign to retake the the house? >> this is going to decide on what the american people decide. what we want is for the american people to look at this bill. they can judge for themselves. but as i said, i think that the american people recognize that medicare is a program that has served the country well.
and to deform and dismantle it and say to seniors that you can no longer choose to stay in the medicare program, you have to go into the private insurance market, and face those rising costs. and if your doctor is not on the plan, that you can afford with your dwindling little voucher or whatever you want to call it, you are out of luck. and so that is the deal that they have given to people of america while they retained a much better deal for themselves as members of congress. any other questions? thank you all very much for joining us. we are going to keep fighting this republican budget and we are confident when the american people learn about it they will help us bury it. [applause]
>> this week on road to the white house, possible republican candidate donald trump in florida. he speaks at a south florida tax day tea party rally. road to the white house sunday at 9:30 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> this year's student cam competition asks students from across the country to consider washington, d.c. through their lens. today's third prize winner addressed an issue that better helps understand the role of the federal government. >> here marijuana is becoming a major problem for teens and adults. we define how it is being controlled and how it affected our community.
♪ ♪ >> here, marijuana is still the number one drug that we see as far as amount of seizure, the weight of the product and the frequency in which we seize it. >> when i first began as a prosecutor some 22 years ago, the drugs we were prosecuting were marijuana and cocaine. since that time, we have moved into the more exotic drugs, heroin, methamphetamine, crystal ice, but there's always an undercurrent that marijuana is always present.
>> the purpose of this is maybe to break the cycle of where they get caught, get put in jail, back on the street and there they are using drugs again caught back into jail and so we try to break the cycle of the drug abuse. >> marijuana led to bigger and better things for them so to speak, and they wind up ruining lives and destroying families. >> marijuana is an illegal drug outlawed in 1987. for many teens, it is easier to obtain marijuana than alcohol. >> it would make it easier for everyone including teens to get it. and i put it on a level of cigarettes. cigarettes are legal for adults to get but we see young people, eight, nine, ten, 11, 12 years old smoking cigarettes. so i think it would make it easier for teens to get
marijuana if it were legalized. >> i've known too many kids get into marijuana and wreck their lives. they just get in trouble and start changing their behavior, start acting out. and it's not worth it. >> so many benefits. i think it's probably just become a societal idea of smoking pot is horrible. >> i have known people who have done marijuana and they think that they are proud and they go around flaunting it. but identify seen what it actually does to them. they start slacking off in school and everything starts falling apart slowly. >> i think marijuana if used properly can be used for medicinal purposes. and for even those who are more responsible could be used recreationly. >> 62% of adults who use marijuana before the age of 15 use cocaine at some point in
their lives. >> marijuana is what we call in law enforcement the gateway drug. it just leads to bigger and better things. i've arrested people for heroin, methamphetamine use and things like that. and if you deavep rapport with them and talk with them, you find out where they started and it's typically with marijuana. >> the more you have to buy illegal marijuana, the more contact you have with ill legal drug dealers. and the more you're around that, the more you're desensitized to other illegal drugs. >> now, like heroin and cocaine. like once you get into some of them it's really easy to get into any of them because they're in the business and you can basically get any drugs. >> i do believe that it is a gateway drug and that's why we argued and debated. but as a police office we are some experience and some time
in the narcotics unit, i've made it a habit of mine to have violators and people that we investigate. i routinely ask them, what's the first drug you ever did? you can imagine what answer i rue dinly get. almost exclusively marijuana. >> marijuana has been legalized in 15 states and washington, d.c. >> i have known people who have had to go through chemotherapy and i feel like if they had had the option to use marijuana as a medicine, it would have saved them a lot of suffering. >> those who have glaucoma it helps with eye pain. mostly uses for pain. >> as surprising as it may seem, marijuana has affected kids in our community as early as fifth gread. >> it's a problem in our schools, very prevalent. the youngest gradive encountered it is middle school
age, that's not to say a younger child couldn't obtain it and gets their hands on it. i'm sure it's in elementary schools. >> in a recent study done by gallup, 46% of americans said to be in favor of the legalization of marijuana. this number has grown 34% since 1970. >> so if government's stated goal which i think is supposed to be the base of our discussion is that people aren't supposed to use marijuana, with tobacco a drug that kills 400,000 people a year, is highly addictive unlike marijuana, government has achieved that goal to a large degree. so for that anlitcal reason alone, let alone as a stake holder, someone like myself, i don't think i'm a criminal if i use marijuana in the prisy of my home. >> i believe that if the federal government cannot see all the usefulness of can bass, then it won't ever become fully legal or even decriminalized. >> let's put it in historical
perspective. we had the height of the drug problems in our country in the 70's and early 80's when we engaged as a nation to really go after the huge trafficking of cocaine particularly but also marijuana and other drugs into the united states. since we engaged as a nation, since the late 7 o's and early 80's overall drug use has declined 50% in the united states. >> if you use the united nations office of drugs and crimes statistics, they estimate $394 billion a year is the gross proceeds of the drug crime, which far outpaces any other type of criminal activities. >> i don't think these indoor grow competes with what's being imported at the border. >> there are necessary reasons to have a federal presence in the drug laws, marijuana especially.
bawts imported into our country ill legally so i do believe that there is a need for the federal government to be involved. even the larger scale growth may produce multiple pounds. but nothing compared to what's being shipped in across the borders. >> i think marijuana is both. it is a local issue because it affects the lives of the citizens around us. and i believe that the government is best, as the government is close toast the people. because you have more direct impact over what happens with your local government. >> go to student cam.org to watch all the winning videos. and continue the conversation about today's documentary at our facebook and twitter pages. >> next, live, your calls and comments on "washington journal." then, a house hearing on the muslim brotherhood. after that, arizona senator
john mccain on u.s. involvement in libya. >> to be a parent means that you are training the people you can't live without to live without you. >> his son's college admission process, the sat's guide books, financial aid forms, weekly standard senior editor was not prepared for crazy u. >> nothing like that happened to me when i was thinking about college in the mid 1970s. and so it was starting to dawn on me that this is a very much different process from what it was. >> find out if this dad catches up. sunday night on c-span's q&a. you can also download a podcast. one of our many signature programs available on line at c-span.org/podcast. >> this morning, washington, d.c. mayor vincent gray talks about the district's unique relationship with congress and his recent protest and arrest over restrictions p